CRICKET: Trio selected for Ireland U15 girls squad

Fox Lodge player Mollie Devine is in the Ireland U15 Girls squad.
Fox Lodge player Mollie Devine is in the Ireland U15 Girls squad.

North West trio Zara Craig (Eglinton), Alana Dalzell (Bready) and Mollie Devine (Fox Lodge), are all selected in Ireland’s Under 15 Girls squad.

The Irish will play three matches in the prestigious Malvern Festival competition next month, with Surrey, The Netherlands and Gloucestershire their opponents.

“The introduction of a national U15’s team, and entry to the Malvern Festival, will give these girls an opportunity to challenge themselves against strong opposition,” said Head Coach Rob O’Connor. “It’s a very exciting time for girl’s cricket at the moment with playing numbers increasing, and a consequence the standard has improved right across the country.

“I am delighted to see players from different areas of the country selected for the final squad. This is a reflection of the hard work that is being put in by the provincial development officers and coaches.”

Anna Kirk from Clontarf skippers the squad, with Saintfield’s Cara Murray her deputy. Pembroke have four representatives - Hannah and Louise Little, Orla Prendergast and Cliona Tucker.

O’Connor highlighted the squad’s preparations for the tournament saying: “The players completed an intensive training programme over the winter, which included skills, Strength & Conditioning, video match analysis, and discussion groups with some of the Performance squad. The Malvern Festival will be an excellent opportunity for them to show off their talent, and develop their game even more.”

The squad will take part in a two-day training camp at YMCA on the 25th and 26th July where they will play matches against the NCU and NW U17 inter-provincial squads.